Blogging for profit is a skill that has always eluded me. I knew there were countless bloggers out there, making six-figure salaries from pecking away at a keyboard, sharing their passions with the world. How they were able to generate profit from that was a mystery to me. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't make affiliate blogging or advertising work for me. To give you an idea, BreeniBooks has been around since 2007, yet to this day, Adwords hasn't sent me a single check because I have yet to hit the $100 threshold required for payout. Yes, in seven years I have made less than $100. So the possibility that Ruth Soukup could unlock the world of monetized blogging for me was enough for me to give Blogging for Profit a try.
Ruth Soukup is the face behind the blog Living Well, Spending Less. I didn't realize it when I downloaded the book, but I had visited her blog before. One of her posts, an article about how she permanently took her children's toys away, was a hit on Pinterest. I'm a Pinterest junkie, so of course it piqued my interest when it was making its rounds.
The success of that one blog post is most likely due to Soukup's skillful tactics of self-promotion. Reading the book, you would think this thing just comes naturally to her, but she explains how she has spent countless hours researching, attending conferences, and taking classes to perfect every aspect of her blogging business. And that's exactly what it is--a business. Soukup has taken what tends to be a passing hobby for most people and turned it into the bread and butter that fuels her family.
The author introduces herself by explaining how she came to be a professional blogger, herself. She recounts the obstacles she faced when she decided to make this idea her reality, including her own husband's disbelief. She delves into the mindset that kept her going, and the debilitating thought patterns she had to overcome to become a truly successful blogger. It's through Soukup's detailed experience--the mistakes as well as the successes--that the reader is able to carve their own path without falling into some of the same traps. She encourages the reader to not skip to the latter parts of the book that detail specific monetary outlets, because making these work depends largely on the mindset and dedication of the blogger. The first part of the book is about aligning yourself with your values and creating a foundation to launch a successful blog.
I won't argue that the first part of the book is incredibly important, just as the author suggests. It's definitely not a part you want to skim if you really want to take away the full value of her advice. However, the details of the second part, where she lists specific outlets for monetizing a blog, are enough to entice anyone to invest in the book. She not only lists different tactics, but specific sites to use and the general requirements they have for using their platforms. Going through her lists, it's easy to tic off the advertisers who won't be a good fit for the blogger, as well as the ones worth looking into.
Another handy part of the book is where Soukup shares examples of her own blog schedules and strict planning techniques, including her social media campaigns. It is clear she lives and breathes blogging, which is probably the reason she is such a success. She provides the reader with a link to a printable version of her own organizer. There is an appendix of resources to expand on the book.
After reading How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, I found myself motivated to take action on my own blogs. They had been languishing for a while under my sporadic bouts of inspiration and lack of direction, but using Soukup's techniques, I am building a plan for making them into valuable contributions--both to my own well-being and the world at large. I took away specific ideas to use at my full-time job as an eCommerce Manager, as well. I can't imagine anyone reading this book and not being prompted to take immediate action. I didn't hesitate to start plugging it to coworkers and friends. It's definitely worth the investment, and I will be following Ruth Soukup very closely in the future in hopes she continues sharing her experiences.
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul
By Ruth Soukup
September 6, 2013
Life Well Lived Publications